1 A bi-monthly publication of the MSBA Women s Law Section Vol. 8 No. 5 September/October 2010 Co-Chairs Elizabeth A. Olivier, Esq. Jennifer Hoopes, Esq. Treasurer Stephanie N. Strouse, Esq. Calendar Editor Rebecca Webber, Esq. Committee Members Awards Committee Rebecca S. Webber, Esq. (Co-Chair) Ivy Frignoca, Esq. (Co-Chair) Kristin Aiello, Esq. Deborah A. Buccina, Esq. Aria Eee, Esq. Sarah LeClaire, Esq. Program Committee Sonia Buck, Esq. (Chair) Sally F. Curran, Esq. Continued on page 2 From the chairs Fall is such a wonderful season in Maine. The trees bring beautiful colors, the sun surprises us with warm, dazzling days and the nip in the air reminds us that change is on its way. As we ready ourselves for more changes in the weather, the Section is taking the opportunity to look at changes in the legal world. Our fall program will look at Alternative to the Billable Hour. Many firms and companies have been struggling with the billable hour, its advantages and disadvantages and what law firm billing should look like in the future. We have pulled together a panel of women attorneys from small and large firms as well as in-house counsel to facilitate a discussion on this issue. Please be sure to join us on Tuesday, November 9 at the Mariner s Church & Banquet Center in Portland for a discussion with Emily Kahn of Waste Management, Janet McCaa of Johnson & McCaa, Gigi Sanchez of Pierce Atwood, Ann Courtney of Unum and Kimberly Cook of Government Strategies about alternative billing ideas. We are also making plans, with the help of WLS member Anna Collins, for a program during the Maine Bar s annual winter meeting on Women In The Law - Talents & Stereotypes. The panel presentation will provide an overview of various theories about gender difference and stereotypes, a review of available research regarding this topic, and the significance of both to the legal profession. The presentation will also include an interdisciplinary discussion and a question-and-answer session. Finally, with the coming of winter, we are also facing a change in Section leadership. We are very interested in hearing from those of you who might be interested in chairing one of our committees or serving on one of our committees. As you know, the work of the Women s Law Section is all volunteer and the more people we have to help, the better we can meet the needs of our members. Please contact Betty or Jennifer if you are interested in becoming involved in a leadership position or serving on a committee. As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions about how to make membership in the Women s Law Section a meaningful experience. If there is something you would like to see the Section do, or a program you d like to see, please let us know. Betty and Jennifer
2 Page 2 Committee Members Continued from page 1 Pro Bono Committee Cathy Lee, Esq. Faye Luppi, Esq. Judy Plano, Esq. Mary Richardson, Esq. Law School Mentoring Coordinator Marianna M. Fenton, Esq. WLS Directory Committee Cornelia S. Fuchs, Esq. Legislative Liasion Kim Cook Women s Winter Break Committee Heather Walker (Chair) Mara King Hunter Julia G. Pitney Louise Thomas MSBA Women s Law Section Calendar Building Your Practice through Networking: Tip 1 Make meal time your networking time (first in a series) by Candace Sanborn, Managing Partner Social media is all the rage these days, and while it has excellent networking benefits, nothing beats face-to-face conversations. However, with our all-to-busy schedules, meeting with people in person is often eliminated in favor of or phone calls. This kind of communication tends to be around taking care of tasks that need to be done rather than fostering richer relationships. Nothing allows you to connect with people more than when you can experience them in person looking them in the eye and seeing their response to your thoughts. Here s a tip to bring the face-to-face back into your networking program: Since everyone has to eat each day, take two meals out of each week to spend with a client and a referral source. Do a little prep work before you meet by looking at their client file or website and have some questions ready. You ll be surprised at the new work that results from it! Candace Sanborn Managing Partner Encompass Marketing 162 Main Street Auburn, ME (207) x100 com The 2011 Annual Meeting will be held on January at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks. The Glassman Lunch will be held on the January 21st. Tips from the Seasoned (or what I wish someone had told me when I was a new attorney) Justice Margaret Kravchuk, a Glassman Award winner and long time member of the state and federal benches, writes: The best advice that I can give is to find a mentor and then spend time with him or her, going to lunch and just talking about cases and the practice of law. We too much and converse too little nowadays. Having a mentor who is well respected and with whom you share a special bond can help you advance in your career and can make your professional life richer and more enjoyable. [H]aving a column addressing these kinds of things is a way to open the lines of communication across the generation gap....
3 Vol. 8 No. 5 September/October 2010 Page Louise Thomas Selected as 2011 Glassman Award Winner Louise Thomas has been selected by the WLS Awards Committee as the 2011 Glassman Award winner. She will be presented with the award at the Glassman luncheon on January 21, In her more than 25 years of practice, Louise has not only established herself as an elite trial lawyer and contributor to the Bar in terms of ethics, but has met the criteria of the Award across the boards. As the second female partner in Maine s largest law firm, she got where she did not by compromising her values but by being a top quality lawyer while pushing for positive change. The changes advanced by her included championing maternity leave and part-time policies; as women from Pierce Atwood put it, by the time they decided to have a family, she had already blazed the way for [them]. As one person put it, Louise was up there swinging for [us]. In addition, Louise made a special effort to be accessible to assist women in court proceedings. One way she accomplished this was by serving as counsel to various CASA volunteers; and from time to time, Louise agreed to consult with other women who were volunteers and or lawyers who were struggling with bar admission or personal challenges. Louise also worked to educate the bench, the bar, and public on the status of women in the profession. Through her work, Louise recognized that the challenges facing professional women differ from those of their male colleagues, and women s problems with addiction and depression often went undetected and unidentified. As Louise states in her article on the subject, women professionals are not exempt from substance abuse or psychological issues that impair an attorney s ability to practice law, but women present a far different picture of impairment than that of the typical male attorney. Impaired Professionals: Women Have Issues, Too. WLS Calendar, September/October With this in mind, Louise actively sought to engage the Maine WLS to bring these unique challenges facing its female attorneys to the forefront. Born from Louise s work was the WLS subcommittee, Women Helping Women, which, among other things, worked with WLS to explore how these issues affect female professionals, and to educate others about the problem and what is needed for recovery. For instance, led by Louise Thomas, the subcommittee developed and marketed Winter Break for Working Women, with its inaugural event held in Orono in February Finally, Louise has mentored women both in her own firm and elsewhere. One of the most touching examples of this was when a new associate was starting her first trial and turned around to see Louise in the audience, smiling and telling her she was doing great. Louise took the time off from work simply to be there as support. It is something that person has never forgotten. But her open door was mentioned by many, as well as her training of all associates, male and female. For those of us who did not have a mentor, we are in awe! Pierce Atwood is clearly blessed by a partner like Louise. Rebecca Webber
4 Page MSBA Women s Law Section Calendar Louise K. Thomas Biographical Information Louise K. Thomas Partner, Pierce Attwood Portland, Maine Office Education A Maine native, Louise received her A.B. from Cornell University (1974) and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Maine School of Law (1977). Bar Admissions Louise is admitted to practice in both Maine and New Hampshire, state and federal courts, the US 1st circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court. Practice Areas * Energy Litigation * Insurance Litigation * Litigation * Personal Injury Litigation Experience Louise has enjoyed a diverse litigation practice during her more than 30 years at Pierce Atwood, ranging from litigating insurance policies for policyholders and insurance companies to advocating for both buyers and sellers of electric power to prosecuting and defending personal injury suits. In her work from northern Maine to southern California, Louise has represented Fortune 500 companies, the State of California, closely held corporations and individuals from all walks of life. As a result of her depth of litigation experience, Louise is especially well-equipped to identify and formulate strategy, helping clients to navigate the insurance process and legal system, both before and during litigation, in order to achieve their goals creatively and economically. Representative Matters Successful recovery of insurance proceeds for businesses suffering catastrophic loss I had zero hope the day after the fire that my company would even exist in a year, and that is not an exaggeration. Instead, we are now well on our way to back to normal - the facility is rebuilt, our balance sheet is back in order, and it s back to business as usual. Resolution of major suits by defeating insurance company coverage defenses * Convinced Directors and Officers liability insurers to finance a $30+ million settlement of class action securities fraud claims against Fortune 500 company * Found an additional $1 million in insurance coverage to resolve a multiple fatality personal injury claim prior to suit * $1.8 award in New Hampshire underinsured motorist arbitration for traumatic brain injured client * Required liability carrier to defend consumer fraud class action and pay attorneys fees in enforcing rights. AutoEurope v. Connecticut Indemnity, 321 F.3d 60 (1st Cir. 2003) Consultation with businesses and their attorneys on their insurance problems * Risk assessment and negotiation of D&O coverage for publicly held corporations * Draft and negotiate insurance and indemnification provisions in procurement contracts and acquisitions Representation of Insurance Companies * Formerly represented State Farm for 20+ year providing insurance coverage advice, defense of first party (including bad faith) and third party defense * Currently representing various Specialty Insurance carriers
5 Vol. 8 No. 5 September/October 2010 Page 5 * Defense of bad faith suit against major carrier for loss of fishing vessel * Library of 25 years of Insurance coverage opinions Energy litigation and negotiation * Lead attorney in the State of California s audit of the $43 billion of long-term power contracts, resulting in successful renegotiation and litigation of those contracts as well as recovery of refunds Electricity Oversight Board v. Sellers of Energy (FERC Litigation) * Successful resolution of commercial arbitration between joint owners of a fossilfuel generating facility Mediation and Arbitration both privately and as AAA arbitrator Publications Louise regularly speaks on insurance and tort issues. * Drafting Insurance Clauses in Contracts (2009) * Clear Liability and Serious Damages: HOW TO FIND THE MONEY? (2009) * Legal Year in Review Torts & Insurance (2009) * How to Identify and Mitigate Risks to Your Business with Insurance and Other Methods (2004, 2007, 2008) * Author of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Maine (2009), seminars 1998-present Louise also regularly presents seminars on professional responsibility for bar groups and clients * Advocacy and the Lawyer s Obligation of Truthfulness (2010) * Ethical Duties and the Problem of Attorney Impairment (presented more than 30 times nationally from to ABA and state bars, private law firms and corporate law departments) * Legal Year in Review Ethics ( ) Professional Activities Insurance * Chair of Maine Insurance Practice Section Ethics and Professional Responsibility * Maine Task Force to Adopt Model Rules of Professional Conduct ( ) * Court Advisory Committee on Professional Responsibility ( ) * Representation of lawyers, law firms and businesses on ethics matters
6 Page MSBA Women s Law Section Calendar July 26, 2010 Maine State Bar Association Women s Law Section Committee for Caroline Duby Glassmand Award Re: Nomination of Louise Thomas, Esq. Dear Sir or Madam: It is my distinct pleasure to nominate Ms. Louise Thomas for the Caroline Duby Glassman Award. I first met Ms. Thomas in 2004 when we both offered presentations at a New England program for impaired professionals. Following our presentation, we spoke at great length, and I learned of her commiment to providing support and services to persons with issues involving impairments of all types and recovery. Her work within the Maine Lawyer Assistance Program, as well as her membership on the American Bar Association s Committee on Impairment have continued and been advanced by her participation in their programs. Over the succeeding years I have worked with and alongside Ms. Thomas on a a series of research projects to determine the level of stress, depression, and substance use among female attorneys and physicians. Her insight and energy have proven invaluable to our Committee, and it is certain that any progress made or insights provided were due in large part to her involvement. Ms. Thomas put action behind her words of concern when she spearheaded the Mid-Winter Retreat for Women Lawyers and Physicians. That program presented useful information about the isolation and stress apparent among women professionals in Maine. Her efforts are primarly responsible for forging bonds of support among professional women as well as encouraging the creation of small, local groups who could provide meaning interaction on a regular basis. Because of her efforts, there has been a noticable decrease in the stigma experienced by those suffering with depression, anxiety, stress and addiction. She is occasionally asked to come to law firms or to make a presentation to members of the judiciary about issues involving the identification of and the appropriate means by which to address an impaired individual. Sometimes this delicate issue is one that a law firm must face, and her guidance has proven helpful in knowing how best to intervene for the protection of the practice as well as the person exhibiting signs of distress. Her background, knowledge and experience has provided valuable insight not only as to how best to respond to the sensitive issue of impairment but also to note the differences between the manner in which these impairments manifest themselves between men and women. In the community in which she lives, she has volunteered to provide services and support for those in need. No matter the imposition upon her time or her other responsibilities, she always will undertake a task that she feels to be worthy. Most often this involves issues of substance abuse and related impairments of women at work and in their home environment. No person known to me has exhibited a greater willingness to share herself with others than Louise Thomas.
7 Vol. 8 No. 5 September/October 2010 Page At her own law office, she has encouraged her partners to contribute their time and effort on issues of importance to her and the women of her profession. She, personally, has mentored many young lawyers not only as their legal acumen, but also as to their civic responsibility to others. In this regard, she leads by example, and there is little doubt but that she has instilled the best of qualities in those that have had the good fortune to work with her. Finally, no discussion of her contributions would be complete without mentioning her work out of the limelight. While she has surely received numerous accolades from the groups for whom she has provided support, Ms. Thomas willingness to be there for women at all hours of the day and night, to speak and offer support to those who are struggling and in need of a willing hand and a wise heart, and to provide guidance when all others have seemingly abandoned them, shows the kind of compassion and empathy that demonstrates her sincere commitment to the betterment of women everywhere, whatever their financial or social circumstances. It is with deepest pleasure that I offer my support for her to receive this honor and recognition. She is a good person and one that you would be proud to recognize for this coveted distinction. Most Sincerely, Susan K. Blank, MD Director of Medical and Clinical Services
8 Page 8 MSBA Women s Law Section Calendar Women Attorneys Book Club Call for Volunteers As we end the year, the WLS will be looking for a new Section Co- Chair and new committee members. We strongly encourage anyone who has an interest in a leadership and/or a committee position in the Section to contact Jennifer Hoopes or Betty Olivier. We anticipate a need for a new Program Committee Chair and new Program Committee members, specifically. Other WLS committees include the Awards Committee, the Pro-Bono Committee, the Law School Mentoring Committee, the Directory Committee, and the Women s Winter Break Committee. If you have questions about the work any of these committees do, please contact Jennifer or Betty or the current committee chairs or members. Their names and contact information are on the front page of the Calendar. Book Selections When: First Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Where: Pierce Atwood, Portland, Conference Room 7E Call-in #: (207) What to bring: In keeping with no stress, please bring your own snacks. Questions: Jane Sheehan (207) Discussion Book Author Date Nov 3 Loving Frank Nancy Horan (published 2008) Dec 1 A Midwife s Tale: The Life Lauren Thatcher Ulrich of Martha Ballard, Based (published June 1991) on her Diary Jan 5 The Guernsey Literary and Mary Ann Shaffer and Potato Peel Pie Society Annie Barrows (published July 2008) Feb 2 Sisters in Law: Women Lawyers Virginia Drachman Lawyers in Modern American (published 1998) History Mar 2 The Assassin s Accomplice: Kate Larson Mary Surratt and the Plot to kill (published March 2010) Abraham Lincoln Apr 6 The Town and the City Jack Kerouac (published October 1970) May 4 Year of Wonders Geraldine Brooks (published August 2010) Jun 1 Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese (published February 2009) Last Meeting with be at a Local Restaurant. Submitted by Louise Thomas. All are welcome to join the club!
9 Vol. 8 No. 5 September/October 2010 Page WLS BOOK CLUB List of Recommended Readings BOOK AUTHOR RECOMMENDED BY: Little Bee Chris Cleave Barbara Wheaton, Gloria Pinza, Jane Sheehan, Deb Shaw The Help Kathryn Stockett Barbara Wheaton, Judy Woodbury The Guernsey Literary and Mary Ann Shaffer and Barbara Wheaton, Gloria Pinza, Sarah Potato Peel Pie Society Annie Barrows Beard, Judy Woodbury, Jane Sheehan, Beth Stouder Loving Frank Nancy Horan Barbara Wheaton, Deb Shaw Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Strout Barbara Wheaton, Beth Stouder The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver Judy Woodbury The Breaking of Eggs Jim Powell Gloria Pinza Child 44 Tom Rob Smith Gloria Pinza The Lacuna Barbara Kingsolver Ella Brown Freedom Jonathan Franzen Ella Brown The Three Weissmans of Westport Cathleen Schine Cathy Connors Water for Elephants Sara Gruen Beth Stouder Devil in the White City Erik Larson Beth Stouder Shadows of the Mind Mark Alders Beth Stouder That Old Cape Magic Richard Russo Beth Stouder The Book Thief Markus Zusak Beth Stouder Eiffel s Tower Jill Jonnes Beth Stouder Suggestions from Historian, Andrea Hawkes, Ph.D for Reading List for Women Attorneys The following are some book suggestions for your book group. I thought you ought to have a wide selection of history, women of color, world view, biography, and autobiography so that your group could see beyond their own lives (you can see I do this for a living). All can be found on Amazon (Andrea Hawkes): Karen Berger Morello, The Invisible Bar: The Woman Lawyer in America, 1638 to the Present (Beacon Press, 1988). J. Clay Smith Jr., editor, Rebels in Law: Voices in History of Black Women Lawyers (University of Michigan Press, 2000). Janet Reno, Doing the Right Thing (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1994). Mary Jane Mossman, The First Women Lawyers: A Comparative Study of Gender, Law, and the Legal Profession (Hart Publishing, 2006). Jill Norgren, Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President (NYU Press, 2008). Virginia G. Drachman, Sisters In Law: Women Lawyers in Modern American History (Harvard University Press, 2001). Jane M. Friedman, America s First Woman Lawyer: The Biography of Myra Bradwell (Prometheus Books, 1993).